Now, music clubs have in-house disc-jockeys (DJs) who spin records and entertain its patrons for the night. The best nightclubs have recognized DJs and specific music genres which people go back for but moving back 40 years, the best clubs were those that had featured appearances by well -known bands of the day.
One such club was the 76 Club – a widely popular English club which had its heyday during the 1970s and 1980s. They had featured appearances from multiple well known rock bands such as AC/DC, Dire Straits and even had a live recording done in the club by the Sex Pistols. 76 Club had humble beginnings in the late 1950s when a snack bar and café opened up along High Street to provide refreshment to the crowds making the long trek down to the nearby shopping centre. On 1 December 1961, Gordon Band opened the 76 Club that became one of the most famous clubs of all time.
Upon its opening as a club in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, the 76 Club started making its mark with the collaborations with bands starting January 1964 with bands such as the ‘The Cyclones’ and ‘The Memphis Five’. Regular appearances by different bands started to shape the music journeys and tastes of the 76 Club’s patrons.
Soon, the 76 Club cemented itself as a top tier club for performance music, becoming a venue of choice for music concerts by well-known rock bands. Starting 15 September 1972, 72 Club started hosting band concerts – starting with Skid Row. In 1976, the 76 clubs snagged appearances by top rock bands – AC/DC in its UK & Europe Summer Tour on 6 August and Sex Pistols on 24 September. The Sex Pistols even recorded their album in the club – Anarchy in the UK: Live at the 76 Club. AC/DC then had just launched their new album – Back in Black and did not enjoy the popularity they do now. Many people in the club had never heard of that at that point but the gig that day blew the audience away with their music. ‘Back in Black’ would then be the album that propelled AC/DC to fame, being their best-seller of all time.
These good times were not to be forever as the 76 Club had its last featured appearance on 23 December 1980, about 20 years after it opened on 76 High Street. The club closed shortly after but with the power of social media, had their 50th reunion in 2001 in the Burton town hall where a collection of rock bands like ‘The Drifters’ were invited back in for the celebrations.
To sum up, all clubs wish to be famous, but it takes a lot to become the venue where famous bands would consent to perform. The Boardwalk club has hosted a number of famous bands such as legendary AC / DC and Sex Pistols performances.